Putting 'Bottle Top' to the test

I've been noticing Bottle Top for a while now, and was intrigued to learn the canned beverage accessory was invented by someone from the Northwest.

The multi-colored, hard plastic tops look like the top section of a water bottle. The idea is to snap the top onto your beverage can, so you can open and close the sealable cap- essentially turning your can into a portable bottle.

The infomercials claim Bottle Top solves the problem of spilling, keeps insects out of your drink, and helps carbonation last longer when you store a partial can in the refrigerator.

In our test, live on First News at 4, anchor Mary Nam and I had trouble from the start. First off, we had trouble getting the tops on the cans. Mary had instant success with the first can, but neither of us could get a Bottle Top on the second can. The result, as you can see on the video, was entertaining -- but not what we intended.

As for leakage, when we turned a can upside down with the Bottle Top securely attached and the cap closed, the top still leaked. Online posts from other consumers indicate the carbonation will increase the leak-factor when the can is full, but not after some of the beverage has been consumed. Good to know.

Our final surprise came when we tried to remove the Bottle Top. You cannot just pull off the top. According to the instructions, once the can is empty, you simply squeeze and crush the can and the Bottle Top will release. This is accurate. However, we did not expect the top to literally shoot into the air! As one consumer warns, you can't forget to hold on to the top while you're squeezing the can.

Needless to say, our test did not leave either of us with high impressions. However a number of viewers called to say they swear by Bottle Top. People report their refrigerated leftovers keep their carbonation longer, and the different colors help identify who the cans belong to. Seems it takes a little practice to get the hang of it.

Bottle Top sells for around $10 or less for a set of 12- at many Bartelle's, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other retailers that feature "As Seen On TV products."